|San Francisco River, Catron County New Mexico|
When you have had the good fortune to have lived for a good long while in an enchanting place in the Southwest mountains, complete with never ending adventures, surrounded by friends of all walks of life and from all demographic backgrounds, then you move to the Bible Belt of the Midwest in the land of endless soybeans, well, it can feel like a let-down. Soon life just feels, how can I put it . . . boring.
A few years ago my husband and I made the incredibly insane decision to pack it all up and move back to this place where we came from, in hopes of giving our children a better chance to know their grandparents. And the idea at the time was that Rob would sort of become semi-retired, retiring that is from building custom log homes. We sold our little piece of paradise in the mountains, our dream cabin we built from the ground up, little by little, one small piece of lumber at a time. Rob had always stayed so busy building beautiful homes for everyone else, that ours still was unfinished when we sold it. It was an adorable little cabin in prime mountain real estate; everyone from the “valley” wanted a piece up there for weekend get-a-ways and for hunting trips. Selling it was a piece of cake; we sold it within one month with no realtor, only flyers thumbtacked up in our little nearby town.
|Small, but cozy!|
We arrived back in the flatlands with bells on, promptly bought 5 acres of rural property with a three bedroom ranch home. It had been a foreclosure and had sat empty for the better part of a year in order that vandals could have their way with it. We made a ridiculous cash offer to the lender and got it for a song. We felt pretty good about it and immediately began to fix it up, making repairs and replacing the appliances and things that had been stolen. It was pretty bare, there was no electric box, no furnace, no stove, fridge, hot water heater, pressure tank, even the deck had been sawed off with a chain saw. I was surprised that there was still a well pump, but then again well pumps are not very easy to pull up and out of a deep well for stealing. So we fixed up the house, custom trim and all, paint, hardwood laminate flooring, new carpet-the whole freaking nine yards. We figured on selling it for a hell of a profit and then we’d move on, eventually working our way to owning two homes, one on each end of the country. Sure, we would have our cake and eat it too. Then the real estate market went to shit and nothing was selling, especially homes in our mediocre price range. So we are sitting on it.
What’s been hard is having moved from a magical place filled with wonderfully alternative thinking people who do things like get married on a mesa by a pastor from the Church of the Comfortable Smile; then move to the land of people-who-are-like-sheep where all the small towns are practically the same having no less than two churches on Main Street. I am literally a square peg here and it isn’t as if I think I am better, it is nothing like that, I just wish folks would not be so afraid of those of us who are different. But we have managed to find a few friends who are accepting and for that I am thankful. We don’t try to keep up with the Jones, whoever the hell they are, we don’t have the latest electronic gadgets, we only recently got satellite internet, we don’t rent movies by the scores and our kids don’t give a rat’s ass about video games. We were so used to living on “mountain time” taking things as they came with an edge of spontaneity. Here it seems like the fast lane and people get caught up in the routine of things, having schedules and meetings and plans. Drives me crazy. Not to mention that I am one who easily gets bored with sameness.
I have to look at it this way: I have found myself in this place where I have an opportunity to write; something I have always had a passion for, but never have seriously pursued. Too busy living the stories that I can now tell. Funny thing is I really am not all that good at story telling, and at first and for a long time, I have been kind of intimidated to write stuff down. But hell, eventually you just have to get over yourself and get on with what you need to do.
|It was a dark and stormy . . .|
Writing has helped me to come to terms with a depression. Seems depression grabbed at me that first winter here and steadily become worse. I mean everyone from time to time gets a little bout of it and then something bright and wonderful happens and we get over it and move on. In my life whenever I’ve needed a quick fix from the blues, I simply take off somewhere by myself and hang out with me, then I figure out what to change in my life to make it brighter and I go for it and it usually all goes uphill from there. But this time the down-n-outs grabbed hard. I tried everything I could think of to make a positive change for the better, but it seemed my motivation lagged and I would still end up in the slumps. And since children are taught better by example than most anything else, I felt like I was failing them, like I was about to drown and going under fast. But I don’t like whining; I don’t like sympathy and I especially don’t like to feel sorry for myself and so I desperately searched and searched for that positive girl I was – like where the hell did she go? And why?
Then one morning my brain woke up with a song in my head that I had actually written in a dream. Now, I am no songwriter. I am certainly not a musician or a singer – can’t carry a tune in a bucket, but I heard this whole song in my head – and this particular song had a doggone story that went with it. So I wrote it down. Turned out to be pretty good therapy! It felt good. Even though I rewrote the story 257 times. It still felt good. So that is pretty much why I write. I enjoy it; it keeps me sane; and it usually gets me out of folding laundry. My grammar is not perfect and I struggle with the story telling. But, who cares, it’s fun. This blog is simply a way of putting me out there for the big ol’ world and no one has to read it to make me feel better. Believe it or not it is a confidence booster. I don’t get bored and I manage to stay pretty positive. Oh, sometimes I slip a little and start to get teary eyed, but then I think I have a lot to be thankful for. Two bright and beautiful children, a devoted hard working husband, a home that’s paid for, a few friends, family close by, food on the table and Microsoft Word 7.
Guess what? I am not done yet, this is my temporary place right now – I’ve been around a little bit, enough to know what I like – oceans and mountains - I’m thinking Hawaii or Northern CA coast or maybe I’ll just wander on down to Florida (I REALLY like Florida) – so when the time comes, we’ll just do it, same as we always do and probably just as spontaneous.